James Whelan Butchers: Chicken Fricassée

Chicken Frigasee

Fricassée is the Irish method of preparing a very tasty stew like dish which is finished with an egg and cream sauce.

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  • 1 medium free range chicken
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 carrot peeled and quartered
  • 1 large onion peeled and quartered
  • Bouquet garni made from a sprig of thyme, bay leaf and parsley stalks tied together
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups water


  • 6 rashers streaky bacon chopped
  • 100 gr mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 1 bunch watercress


  • 50 gr butter
  • 50 gr plain flour
  • 600 ml cooking liquor
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 60 ml double cream
  • 2 leeks sliced thinly and boiled in salted water for 5 minutes and drained
  • Pepper and salt to taste

To Cook

Place the lemon inside the chicken cavity and secure the legs to keep in place and then put the chicken into a large saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredients.

Cook over a low heat and simmer for an hour or so.  Test for readiness by removing chicken from the pot.  When pierced the juices should run clear.

While the chicken is cooking make the sauce by adding the butter to a large saucepan and melt over a low heat.  Add the flour, blending it into the melted butter.

Remove from the heat and add the liquor, a little at a time, stirring constantly to keep it free from lumps.

Return to the heat and stir until thickened.  Mix the egg yolk with the cream and add this mixture to the sauce.  Season to taste and then add the drained leeks, mixing through.

Fry the bacon in the oil until crisp and drain on kitchen paper.  Add mushrooms to the pan and cook for just a few minutes.

Cut the chicken into serving portions and lay on a serving platter.  Cover with the sauce and garnish with chopped bacon, mushrooms and watercress.

We hope you enjoyed reading this post by Pat Whelan of James Whelan Butchers. Pat is a 5th generation butcher, cook book author and the director of  James Whelan Butchers with shops in Clonmel, the Avoca Handweavers Rathcoole and Kilmacanogue, Dunnes Stores Cornelscourt, Rathmines and Swords in Dublin. Sign up to our newsletter for more updates from James Whelan Butchers

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